Croatia Wikipedia Alters Jasenovac Camp Entry Again
Croatian Wikipedia has again amended its entry on the World War II concentration camp at Jasenovac – naming it a 'collection' and 'labour camp' and again disputing the broadly accepted name-by-name list of victims.
The Jasenovac Memorial Site's name-by-name list says 83,145 Serbs, Roma, Jews and anti-Fascists were killed by the Croatian Fascist Ustasa movement there between 1941 and 1945.
The Ustasa governed a so-called Independent State of Croatia, NDH, from 1941 to 1945 under Nazi auspices.
BIRN wrote earlier about how Croatian Wikipedia had controversially referred to Jasenovac only as a "collection" camp, or “sabirni logor” in Croatian, while all major language versions referred to it as a concentration or death camp.
Now, however, the entry has been further changed, removing mention of a “death camp” and putting in “labour camp” instead.
Earlier, some Croatian Wikipedia administrators defended using the term “sabirni logor” because that was the term the Ustasa camp administration had used.
While the earlier entry challenged the Jasenovac Memorial Site's research on the victims, it now gives a prominent place to Igor Vukic, a former journalist and secretary of the Society for Research of the Threefold Jasenovac Camp, an association that many historians see as revisionist.
The association claims the Ustasa ran a labour camp for enemies of the Fascist regime, and insists it only became a regular death camp under the Communists who took power in 1945.
It says they then imprisoned Ustasa members and Croatian Home Guard forces there until 1948, and then alleged Stalinists, after the 1948 break with the USSR, until 1951.
It has also claimed that possibly only 1,500 people died from various causes in the camp during the Ustasa period – although no serious academic research would back such claims.
The new entry extensively quotes Vukic’s new book, Labour Camp Jasenovac, which received praise from Milan Ivkosic in the daily Vecernji list in a review titled "Jasenovac cleansed of ideology, bias and communist forgery", which has drawn negative reactions from Holocaust experts.
The entry quotes Vukic’s book as saying that “no one was interned at the camp for their national or religious background, but as political opponents of the Independent State of Croatia”.
When it was formed in 1941, the NDH rapidly introduced Nazi-style race laws targeting Jews, Roma and Serbs. Serbs made up a large percentage of the population of the NDH, which included present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Wikipedia entry now also quotes a Slovenian researcher Roman Leljak, who claims that Yugoslav military archives in Belgrade speak only of 1,654 victims. However, Leljak is not respected by mainstream historians.
The entry gives much space to the alleged existence of a Communist camp, for which there is no scientific evidence.
Besides the entry on Jasenovac, Croatian Wikipedia contains other articles that most historians deem highly problematic and inaccurate.
In the entry on the Polish city of Gdansk, a sentence claiming that the Poles committed genocide against Polish Germans before Nazi Germany invaded the country in 1939 was only recently removed.